Tag Archive for: Townsend Reserve

Homes Going Up on 600 Acres Along Gully Branch in Splendora

Phases One and Two of two new developments on FM2090, Townsend Reserve and Presswoods, appear to have finished clearcutting and building stormwater retention basins. They are now building streets and homes along Gully Branch, which has been channelized through the developments in Splendora.

More than 1,000 Acres at Buildout

Together, the developments eventually comprise more than 1,000 acres at buildout.

Splendora Developments on 2090

Knock on deadwood. I’ve heard no complaints yet about neighbors being flooded. Please contact me, however, if you have information to the contrary.

Photos Taken on 4/2/2023

The photos below show the first 600 acres. Assuming six houses to the acre, the land you see below could soon hold approximately 3,600 homes.

But according to the Census Bureau, Splendora currently has a population of 1,780 people. And this real estate site says the city has 737 housing units.

So get ready for some change. These two developments could bring 10,000 new residents to Splendora, increasing the population more than 5X.

Looking SE from the midpoint of the two developments across the entry to Presswoods.
Looking S from the same point. Gully Branch is now a drainage ditch that parallels the tree line that bisects the frame from L to R.
Looking SW toward Townsend Reserve along FM2090.
Looking E from over Townsend Reserve toward Presswoods. Note how Gully Branch has been channelized and framed by stormwater retention basins.
Farther east, still looking east toward US59 from over Presswoods.

For People with a Passion for Rural Living

The developments are all south of FM2090 opposite Splendora High School, Junior High and Piney Woods Elementary.

Presswoods seems to be developing faster than Townsend Reserve. DR Horton, the nation’s largest homebuilder is already selling homes in Presswoods. They range in size from 1.400 to 2.300 SF and in price from $220,000 to $300,000.

As I flew over this area today, I couldn’t help but wonder where all these new residents would shop. Splendora has several dollar stores, a small grocery store and some fast food. And growth will inevitably attract more retail. But the nearest major retail center is Valley Ranch, 10+ miles to the south.

Moving to areas like this requires a passion for rural life, a tolerance for long commutes, and a desire to stretch your housing dollar.

New Rainfall Estimates, Old Flood Maps

The drainage impact analyses for these developments are based on Atlas-14, but old flood maps. It’s not clear yet whether Montgomery County intends to update its flood maps for this area or when. The latest drainage criteria manual on the County’s
Engineering website is dated 2019.

Before I bought a home here, I would want to make sure my house was elevated far above street level.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/2/2023

2042 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

Townsend Reserve, Splendora Crossing Drainage Analyses Omit Mention of New Flood Maps

A week ago, I posted about two large parcels of land being cleared south and west of Splendora High School on FM2090 in Montgomery County. At the time, I thought they might be part of the same development. Since then, I have learned that two different companies own the parcels: Townsend Reserve Ltd. and Forestar USA. However, both used the same companies – Elevation Land Solutions and WGA – for engineering.

Parcel owners and sizes. Green = land being cleared. Red = not yet clearing land. From: Montgomery County Appraisal District.

This post will focus primarily on Townsend Reserve. A previous post discussed Forestar’s property, Splendora Crossing.

WGA developed the drainage impact analyses for both developments using 2014 flood maps (see Townsend’s below). New maps are currently in development, but neither analysis mentions that. In fairness, WGA did attempt to calculate new flood elevations using its own measurements. But illustrations showing the old floodplain outlines, without mention of coming changes, may mislead potential buyers.

Townsend Reserve Map showing floodplain outline in white is based on 2014 map. Homes in dark shaded area will be elevated.

Elevation Land Solutions developed the construction plans for Townsend. It disclosed flood risk more fully.

Disclosure found on virtually every page of construction plans by Elevation Land Solutions. Note second paragraph.

It’s unclear at this time whether Montgomery County itself will attempt to update flood maps based on data acquired since Harvey. That could help buyers, but hurt builders.

Townsend Owned by Camcorp Management

I found little information about Townsend Reserve online except a certificate of formation on the Texas Secretary of State website.

It shows that Townsend Reserve, Ltd. was formed in September 2020 by general partner, Camcorp Management Inc. Both show addresses at 10410 Windermere Lakes Blvd., Houston, TX 77065. Camcorp was formed in 1993 and is associated with several developments in the region, including Brooklyn Trails in Porter. Executives of Camcorp Management are also officers in several homebuilding companies.

High-Density Development

Like Brooklyn Trails, construction documents show that Townsend Reserve will be a high-density development.

Townsend Reserve will contain many long, skinny lots with little room between homes.
Diagram of detention pond layouts from Townsend Reserve’s Drainage Impact Analysis.

Photos of Land Clearing To Date

I took the two photos below on 1/6/2022. They show the extent of current clearing and drainage mitigation.

Looking west along FM2090 at northern portion of Townsend Reserve. That square of trees in the middle of the shot will eventually become a small retail center serving the development.
Looking SW over FM2090 at southern portion of Townsend Reserve

Drainage Analysis Claims “No Adverse Impact”

The drainage impact analysis for Townsend Reserve concludes that the proposed project and associated drainage features will result in “no adverse impact” to existing flood hazard conditions along Gully Branch for storm events up to and including the 100-year event. “No adverse impact” is the gold standard. Engineers must certify it before Montgomery County will approve their plans.

Engineers do this by showing that the estimated runoff after development is no greater than the runoff before development. Detention ponds and channels supposedly hold back the increased peaks due to faster runoff...if all their assumptions and calculations are correct.

The 115.7-acre initial phase of Townsend Reserve’s development include a bypass channel and stormwater detention basin located along the south side of Gully Branch. You can clearly see both in the photos above.

The ultimate development will include the construction of two additional storm water detention basins.

WGA Drainage Impact Analysis

For both Phase 1 and ultimate development, portions of the site will be elevated using fill from excavation of the bypass channel and detention basins. Engineers call this practice “cut and fill.” They do not bring fill into the flood plain. They just move the dirt around. So there’s no reduction of floodplain capacity.

Portions of this fill will be located within the 1% annual chance floodplain based on the 2014 map. WGA’s Drainage Impact Analysis claims, “The proposed project results in lower flood profiles throughout the project reach, and an overall reduction in floodplain storage volume. However, the proposed drainage features provide a more efficient use of the available floodplain storage volume, resulting in no increase in peak flows downstream.”

Analysis Based on Atlas-14 Rainfall, but Old Flood Maps

New post-Harvey flood maps due to be released within months will reportedly show the 100-year floodplain expanding into the 500-year floodplain in most places. That could dramatically alter some of the assumptions above. However, I can find no references to new maps in either WGA analysis for Splendora Crossing or Townsend Reserve.

Montgomery County Atlas-14 requirements are slightly lower than those in the Lake Houston Area because of slightly less rainfall. Therefore, the proposed drainage features for Townsend will result in slightly less detention capacity.

168 acre feet of detention equals .57 acre feet per acre. If this development were in Harris County .65 acre feet per acre would be required.

To see Townsend Reserve’s entire entire drainage impact analysis, click here.

In fairness to developers, they can’t put their plans on hold indefinitely while new flood maps are drawn and approved. However, in fairness to buyers, you would think the engineering documents would at least disclose the potential of new maps. Likewise, what are man-made and natural factors that increase flood risk, as Elevation Land Solutions pointed out above?

The standards for disclosure in engineering seem lower than the standards for many other industries. I’ve read fuller disclosures on an aspirin bottle.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/15/2022

1600 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.